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Sylvie Julien

My principal research project focuses on the role of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) that is located between the choroid and the neural retina. The RPE is a vital tissue for the maintenance of photoreceptor function and it is also affected by many diseases of the retina and choroid like age–related macular degeneration. As its name indicates, the RPE is pigmented: the two major pigments are melanin and lipofuscin whose roles in the eye remain somewhat speculative. The questions I am working on are, e.g: what role do melanin and lipofuscin play in health and disease? How can lipofuscin be removed from the RPE? Why does the RPE partially lose its function in elderly people, and how can the function of the RPE be maintained or even restored?

My other research interests are: Transport of proteins after intravitreal application, gene and pharmacological therapies, mechanisms of pathological neovascularisation, generation of relevant cellular and animal models for preclinical studies, neuroprotection.


  • Experimental surgeries and compound application
  • Gene transfer
  • Primary retinal pigment epithelial cell culture
  • Immunohistochemistry, light and fluorescence microscopy
  • Electron microscopy

Selected Publications

  1. Julien S & Schraermeyer U
    Lipofuscin can be eliminated from the retinal pigment epithelium of monkeys.
    Neurobiol Aging. 2012 Jan 12. [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Julien S, Biesemeier A, Kokkinou D, Eibl O, Schraermeyer U
    Zinc deficiency leads to lipofuscin accumulation in the retinal pigment epithelium of pigmented rats.
    PLoS One. 2011;6(12):e29245. Epub 2011 Dec 22
  3. Julien S, Peters T, Ziemssen F, Arango-Gonzalez B, Beck S, Thielecke H, Büth H, Van Vlierberghe S, Sirova M, Rossmann P, Rihova B, Schacht E, Dubruel P, Zrenner E, Schraermeyer U.
    Implantation of ultrathin, biofunctionalized polyimide membranes into the subretinal space of rats.
    Biomaterials. 32: 3890-3898. 2011
  4. Julien S, Kreppel F, Beck S, Heiduschka P, Brito V, Schnichels S, Kochanek S, Schraermeyer U.
    A reproducible and quantifiable model of choroidal neovascularization induced by VEGF A165 after subretinal adenoviral gene transfer in the rabbit.
    Mol Vis 14: 1358-1372. 2008
  5. Julien S, Heiduschka P, Hofmeister S, Schraermeyer U
    Immunohistochemical localisation of intravitreally injected bevacizumab at the posterior pole of the primate eye: implication for the treatment of retinal vein occlusion.
    Br J Ophthalmol 92: 1424-1428. 2008
  6. Julien S, Kociok N, Kreppel F, Kopitz J, Kochanek S, Biesemeier A, Blitgen-Heinecke P, Heiduschka P, Schraermeyer U.
    Tyrosinase biosynthesis and trafficking in adult human retinal pigment epithelial cells.
    Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 245: 1495-1505. 2007
  7. Schnichels S, Conrad S, Warstat K, Henke-Fahle S, Skutella T, Schraermeyer U, Julien S.
    Gene expression of the repulsive guidance molecules/neogenin in the developing and mature mouse visual system: C57BL/6J vs. the glaucoma model DBA/2J.
    Gene Expr Patterns 8: 1-11. 2007
Sylvie Julien
Image Sylvie Julien

Research Group

Section of Experimental Vitreoretinal Surgery


Universitätsklinikum Tübingen

Centre for Ophthalmology

Schleichstrasse 12/1
72076 Tübingen

Phone: +49 7071-29 84 888
Fax: +49 7071-29 4554




CV of Sylvie Julien [pdf]

Research Groups